Sun, 25 Apr 2010 Nigeria

Nigeria, Benin to overhaul border patrol


To ensure efficient security system along Seme-Krake Axis, the Nigeria/Benin Rep-ublic Border Patrol is due to be re-launched, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Nigerian envoy to Benin Republic, Ambassador Lawrence Akindele, told NAN in Cotonou, that it was imperative to repackage the outfit to give it a bite.

“Very soon the Nigerian/Benin Republic Joint Border Patrol team would be re-launched to make the squad more effective security wise,” he said.

NAN reports that the operations of The Nigeria/Benin Joint Border Patrol have been one side due to non equal access to each of the divids.

Akindele told NAN that the March 27, this year date proposed for the re-launch was put off due to the sacking of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The critical problem is the fact that the Nigerian operatives at our border did not have easy access to Benin side,” he said.

“With the Joint Border Patrol being discussed at a meeting set for a new date to be fixed by the Commission, all issues will be thrashed out on the ability of the two sides to contribute a team to go to the two sides,” he said.

He said the Joint Border Post to be constructed by ECOWAS would be properly composed to eliminate corruption, insecurity and smuggling.
“When the ECOWAS Border Reforms being sponsored by the European Union starts, sovereignty will be addressed, equipment will eliminate corruption, smuggling and insecurity at the border,” he said.

Akindele said that the capacity to work at Seme/Krake border will end smuggling of illicit arms.

He said that in the post ECOWAS Reforms era, a buffer zone would be created for both sides to interact like what obtains in the European Union.

Akindele assured the reforms will eliminate check points with a view to boosting trade - free movement of goods and services.

NAN reports that ECOWAS is worried about the bottlenecks created by security checkpoints at Seme-Krake border post which impede trade liberalisation in the sub-regions.